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Unilever Tea to lay off workers in restructuring exercise

By Macharia Kamau | Published Sun, August 5th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 4th 2018 at 22:45 GMT +3
Workers picking tea at a farm.

Unilever Tea Kenya plans to lay off some of its employees in a restructuring process.

The firm said it would offer employees nearing retirement age an opportunity to leave under a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) plan that it has already put in motion.

While Unilever did not disclose the number of employees to be affected, it downplayed claims that it planned to let go over 11,000 workers.

The Kericho-based company employs 16,000 workers.

Earlier in the week, the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union had claimed that the company planned to lay-off 11,000 employees.

The union argued that the retrenchment was contrary to labour laws, saying the employees were entitled to the benefits being offered in the lay-off exercise and they were not additional perks.

Unilever Tea however said it had offered an “attractive benefits package” for employees that would take up the offer.

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“We can confirm that some employees were informed of their eligibility to take part in a VER but any reports of mass lay-offs are completely inaccurate,” said the firm in a statement Friday.

“This VER is primarily aimed at employees close to retirement, who are offered the choice to apply for early retirement with an attractive benefits package.”

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